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Home From Home Tour - April 2023

Since 2004, Cape Town in South Africa was our home and what a home it was. Stunning beaches, glorious mountain ranges, magical forests, top night life, amazing restaurants, loads of wine and craft beer, awesome original music acts and a rich, diverse culture. It really has it all. We learned lots and although we both had our childhood and young adult lives in the UK, we actually grew up in South Africa, facing many world truths and self-reflections.

We have since travelled our music back to the UK (our other home) and spent a good amount of time in Zimbabwe but this tour was all about going back to a home from home and seeing our friends and family. It was also about playing the venues that helped shape our original MAZULA music career in 2018 when it all seriously got going as a full-time life style. It is now time for us to focus on festivals, big events and live music venues only, not that we haven't enjoyed the pub & restaurant circuit, it has helped build our stamina and hone our craft but playing in the corner over drunken conversations for 3 hours is no longer serving us in a positive way. We are also writing so much more material that needs to get to ears and a new original music life is unfolding and one we are very excited about. The question now is, can we penetrate the scene as true independents? The music industry is VERY controlled and not many people let you into that scene unless you are represented by some corporate organization and no matter how funky or ‘independent’ they seem, the deals are always the same and we have no intention of being owned in anyway. We are happy to choose and build a team around us that helps us to grow but will the festivals and radio stations let us in? Don’t fool yourself that now with the internet, music is more for the artistes and independent. It will be a new challenge and one I will keep you posted on; challenge excepted!

This tour started with our van's engine giving out a month before we were due to leave. Many debates were had on whether we should cancel but it is something we never do, admit defeat! So, we resigned ourselves to a bus tour. I have always been a driver as soon as I could legally drive, it is a symbol of freedom that I hold very dear but I also value public transport for the peace of mind it can bring of not having problems or hidden costs and for the fact we can sleep lots while travelling. I was feeling a little bleak about the thought of arriving in towns at unusual times and constantly organizing lifts from mates to and from gigs, South Africa is a very big place and event bigger with no car. Vusa said, "Just look at it like a tour bus with loads of fans on and every time we stop, just act like you really wanted to stop in that place." it made me laugh but didn't really cover the dread of a month of group public travelling. Just so it is known, Intercape was the best experience, we tried many and Greyhound charged us extra for our guitar and would have done the same per speaker if they had known they were in our cases. All of them had bad attitudes though. They may have bad roads and no good coffee-on-the-go in Zimbabwe but the people are so amazing it makes up for it all. South Africa seems to have it all compared to Zim but their stinky attitudes were immediately felt as soon as we crossed the border, something I didn't notice before when living there but the people and values in Zimbabwe are seriously next level and I found myself feeling homesick for the first time ever in my life, to get back to the people of Zimbabwe, they are truly golden.

We had a very short stay in Bloemfontein seeing very good friends there and I was able to do a lecture to the BA Honour Acting students at The Free State University. Next to music my biggest love is empowering others with creative skills and insights to keep creativity central to learning and education.

A very quick stop in The Garden Route, Wilderness for a gig at Fairy Knowe that had our equipment blowing up due to the unstable electricity that Eskom barely provides. It’s disgusting what they are putting people through and it left us having to replace our desk and both speakers. The show did go on due to Josh Roxston, Wendy Oldfield and Dave Knowles, all very talented local musicians hustling and sorting another PA, resulting in us playing to a full audience with good vibes. We truly love this part of the world and its people. We were sadly off the very next day to booked shows in Cape Town but we will be spending more time there this December as it is a place I could easily live, well Natures Valley in particularly but the whole Garden Route is very special to us and an oasis to visit. Ou good friends, Landi & Jannis sorted us out big time and after a few adrenaline-filled moments of going to wrong bus stops, we were on our way to The Mother City to our next booked dates.

Our home town is Kommetjie in the Southern Suburbs of Cape Town and it is truly my favourite part of that coast, all the way through Scarborough to Cape Point. The energy is next level and the people are open minded and grounded, mostly surfers and skaters and it is just filled with beautiful family vibes. It was the perfect childhood for our son growing up, he misses the surfing and skating a lot and he was out with his mates from dawn to dusk doing just that. It also kept us sane dealing with running a live music venue for 10 years in the centre of town, everything melted away with all the stress as soon as we would drive home and hit the mountain rage of Ou Kaapse Weg, feeling like we had entered a whole new world.

We spent most of our time this trip with my mum and friends in Kom, as it was golden moments being all together. I have finally accepted the fact that I am truly a travelling gypsy by heart but it does bring pain and hurt for those who can’t hold onto a rolling stone. It took me a lifetime to be able to follow this life without deep guilt for the pain it can bring my mum. Nothing brings happiness like following the life you were destined for though and for now, this is our life and I love it for so many reasons. It is also building a rich and diverse up-brining for our son which he is benefitting from greatly in his personality.

We did some great gigs but the one that will stay with me for a life time was our last show in Cape Town at Café Roux. Not only is it a top venue run by a fantastic family of music lovers but it just all came together in a perfect flow. Derek Craig is a local drummer and percussionist that often plays with us and he did us proud with a stella line up of local musicians, gifting their talents for our only Food Forest Fundraiser, in doing which we were able to get a huge number of organic seeds to get us started and some much-needed equipment. We were blessed with Paul Tizzard on drums, Derek Craig on percussion, Craig Mckune on Bass, Kathleen Eggers on Violin, Willem Moller on Lead Guitar and our very first and much-loved keyboard player, Gary King on keys. We miss Gary and his special magic he brings to our music and he was a very valued addition, even without any rehearsal time, he fitted in straight away and added a whole other level to our tunes. Willem Moller was also an unexpected treat as he toured on both Sugarman Tours round South Africa with Rodregez and has a special talent for lead guitar. If you don’t know who Rodregez is, do yourself a favour and watch ‘Finding Sugarman’ which is one of the best stories in the music industry and he seems like such a honey of a person. The South African fans did him proud, even if his management and home town didn’t and proves how powerful word of mouth and true fans really are to artistes. Some gigs rush by, some drag a bit but this one was perfectly in the present the entire way through and it was a pleasure and a joy to collaborate with these amazing souls and hear their interpretation of our music all while playing to a packed audience that truly listened and were also in those present moments the entire way through while the rain lashed outside. Thanks to you ALL X

We ended the tour with heartfelt goodbyes and HUGE gratitude to Phil the Kite-Man, Claire, Vicky, Antoinette, Clinton and Derek who made it all possible really with lifts, car lending, roofs over heads and getting awesome musicians together for s gig that will be etched into my soul for eternity.

An enjoyable show in Bloemfontein as we passed up country back to Zim to sort out the never-ending paperwork after Vusa’s dad passed in 2019 and to all the animals, that were very happy to see us to say the least. We won’t leave it so long next time and we hope to see you all again this December so look out for shows to support the next SA tour.

BIG UP South Africa, we cherish your lands and miss your people but it will always be a cherished home of ours.

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